Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Gage. Gage Wonders, “Who started the fight in the Boston Massacre?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Gage!

Do you know the story of the American Revolution? If so, you may know a few names like George Washington, Paul Revere, and Molly Pitcher. Many people see them as heroes. Today’s Wonder of the Day is about another American hero. Who are we talking about? Crispus Attucks!

In history, Crispus Attucks is a bit mysterious. At the start of the American Revolution, he lived in Boston, Massachusetts. He worked as a sailor and rope maker. What did he do before then? No one is quite sure. 

However, many think that Attucks escaped slavery before he came to Boston. For proof, they point to a 1750 advertisement. It was about a runaway slave named “Crispas” who looked like Attucks. If this was Attucks, then he was born in 1723 in Framingham, Massachusetts and later ran away to Boston.

Once in Boston, Attucks was often in and out of the city with the ships he worked on. In the year 1770, the tension was high between Britain and its American colonies. Americans were angry about unfair taxes and the presence of British troops. At the same time, Britain wanted tighter control of the colonies. 

In Boston, things were especially bad. Britain had already sent two groups of soldiers to the city. They were not welcome there. These soldiers could search people’s homes and businesses at will. They even lived in many public buildings. Many soldiers also took part-time jobs in the city. This angered Bostonians who had a hard time finding work.

The tension boiled over in March 1770. On March 5, a British soldier entered a Boston pub looking for work. There, he found a group of angry sailors. One of them was Attucks. 

That evening, Attucks’s group grew. They approached a guard in front of the Boston customs house. They mocked him, throwing sticks and snowballs. Soon, more British soldiers came to help the guard. More Bostonians also joined the group. Finally, the soldiers began shooting into the crowd.

This event became known as the Boston Massacre, one of the first events of the American Revolution. The shooting resulted in the death of five people. Attucks is believed to have been the first to die. That makes him the first casualty of the American Revolution.

Later, Attucks became a symbol for the anti-slavery movement. Today, the Boston Commons holds a Crispus Attucks memorial. He’s sure to be remembered for many years to come.

Standards: C3.D2.Civ.14, C3.D2.His.2, C3.D2.His.3, CCRA.L.3, CCRA.L.6, CCRA.R.4, CCRA.R.10, CCRA.W.2, CCRA.W.9, CCRA.L.1, CCRA.L.2, CCRA.SL.1

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